More on Taxes in the Time of COVID-19

We posted Taxes in the Time of COVID-19 on Friday that contained information on 2020 changes to your Federal Tax return. Click here if you missed it.

With so many new neighbors on Seabrook, we’d like to mention some things you may not know about South Carolina taxes. First, if you moved here in 2020, it is important to know that South Carolina does not have a Part-Year Resident Tax Return. You may choose to be taxed either as a Resident or a Non-Resident even if you only lived in SC for a couple of days. It is definitely worth working your state returns both ways, as depending on where you lived before, it may be beneficial to opt for South Carolina residency for the whole year.

Be sure to check out all the Tax Credits that South Carolina offers, particularly the Excess Insurance Premium Credit if you’ve been hit with a big wind and hail insurance bill. Don’t forget to include your homeowners, flood, and earthquake insurance in the calculation. Other credits include a Nursing Home Credit, a Classroom Teacher Expenses Credit (in addition to the federal credit), a Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Credit, and a Two-Earner Credit, most of which won’t be automatically calculated by tax software programs. The Motor Fuel Income Tax Credit is actually going up each year but requires a lot of record-keeping for a very small credit.

The SC College Investment Program (529 Plan) is worth researching if you’re saving money for your grandchildren’s education, or anyone else’s education, including your own. Money invested in a South Carolina Future Scholars Program is deductible from your SC Income and the money doesn’t have to be spent at a SC Educational Institution.

The following are not part of your tax return but will help you save money on your home and automobile taxes:

Have you lived in SC for more than a year now and are over 65? If so, be sure to check out the Homestead Exemption on the property tax for your primary resident. You have to apply for it – it doesn’t come automatically.

Do you drive your car over about 15,000 miles annually? Based on the age of the vehicle, you may qualify for the Motor Vehicle High Mileage Discount. You can appeal your automobile tax bill in the month that tax is due.

Click here to find out more about the Homestead Exemption and Motor Vehicle High Mileage Discount.

Here’s hoping some of these ideas help to make your 2020 tax filings in this time of COVID-19 less stressful!

– Submitted by a Seabrook Island TaxAide Volunteer

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